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Old 10-01-09, 09:41 PM   #1
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People who live above their means (and helping them learn not to)

Overview:
My sister has a questionable financial history of CC debt, and poor choices with automobiles (several, which have cost her quite a bit of money rolled from one loan to the next). She's type type of person that lives just a little above her means.

Her last vehicle was a lease on a Nissan Frontier, because she wanted more than she could buy. My dad reluctantly co-signed (she was 25 at the time) so she could qualify for it, and away she went. The lease is about 8 months from being up, she already knows she owes about $2,000 in mile overage charges, and an additional penalty for an accident she had in it.

Presently,
She's asked my mom to loan her $5,000 toward getting out of the Nissan lease and buying a 2010 Ford F150 so she can have the loan payment at about what she is paying on the lease (but I don't think she is factoring in paying back the "mom loan"). I think its almost a $30,000 truck. I don't think she has any money in savings, or, she's putting as much as she can/has toward this truck already.

To top it off, she asks my mom for this loan yesterday - the 1-year anniversary of the day my dad had the accident from which he ended up passing away on October 2, 2009. Its a big week for my family, and my sister "needs to know" this week, because they are holding the F150 for her. My mom is stressed enough about the big changes in her own financial future w/o my dad, I'm appalled at my sister's horrendous timing! /extra rant

My mom realizes giving this loan is only continued enabling of her overspending habit and will likely not do it. (excellent, I hope she sticks to her guns)

IMHO, She doesn't need a $30k vehicle AND if she can't afford it, she shouldn't buy it.


I'm concerned about her financial future. How can I help her learn to make more responsible decisions?
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Old 10-01-09, 09:48 PM   #2
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I'm concerned about her financial future. How can I help her learn to make more responsible decisions?
You can't. As with anyone with destructive habits, your sister will not change until she is ready to. You can talk to her all you want, but unless she is ready and willing to change her habits, nothing will happen.
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Old 10-01-09, 09:50 PM   #3
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would you like her to learn the hard way or the money doesn't grow on trees way?

you should reassure your mom that giving her money is a bad idea.
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Old 10-01-09, 09:51 PM   #4
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cbad, i know you're probably right. i think my job now is to help support my mom to stop enabling her. my sister has had several family loans in the past- of much smaller amounts, but I don't think she's paid them all off. Frankly I don't want to know, and is none of my business, either.
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Old 10-01-09, 09:52 PM   #5
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would you like her to learn the hard way or the money doesn't grow on trees way?
I've been working on my two cents speech of tough love. its disappointing sometimes when you find out what you can afford (exhibit a: my house hunt, ha).

it also sucks being the little sister with a big attitude (and more smrts)
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Old 10-01-09, 09:56 PM   #6
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you can't. As with anyone with destructive habits, your sister will not change until she is ready to. You can talk to her all you want, but unless she is ready and willing to change her habits, nothing will happen.
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Old 10-01-09, 10:07 PM   #7
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it's a bit hard for me to relate with the sibling aspect.

so I would just ask that your mom remove her from any joint accounts if not already, refuse to give any money and buckle down until she realizes the predicament she's putting herself into.

that's what I did to my friend who had bad spending habits and was starting to mooch off me. he's still not out of it unfortunately.
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Old 10-01-09, 10:12 PM   #8
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You can't. As with anyone with destructive habits, your sister will not change until she is ready to. You can talk to her all you want, but unless she is ready and willing to change her habits, nothing will happen.
You just said it all...
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Old 10-01-09, 10:35 PM   #9
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I like the idea of supporting your mom. But also try to send the message that you care about your sister - her choices may be bad but that doesn't necessarily make her all bad. None of us are perfect, after all...But I totally understand your frustration and being irked at her insensitive timing.

I hope she sees the light, for everyone's sake. If you speak to her in a supportive way maybe she'll even face up to her own feelings about her money issues (I'll bet she has some awareness, even if there is denial in full effect); Maybe some sort of counseling, financial or otherwise is in order here?
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Old 10-02-09, 03:20 AM   #10
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What Cbad said.

I say no more family loans, especially if the old ones haven't been paid back.

1. Consider paying cash for an older 'beater' so sis can get around.
2. Suggest to sis that perhaps she should try living car free. If she does, you could always get her a gift certificate at your fav LBS.
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Old 10-02-09, 03:50 AM   #11
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tell your sis what an absolutely useless donkey she is in no uncertain terms, citing evidence and her actions as illustrations. then tell her to grow up or you'll slap her. your welcome.
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Old 10-02-09, 05:26 AM   #12
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Buy your sister 2 books. The first one is The Millionaire Nextdoor. The second one is Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey.
Tell her there will be tests on the material in the books.
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Old 10-02-09, 06:52 AM   #13
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Borrowing $3000 of a family member to buy a cheap japanese car to get around is one thing. Assistance to buy a $30,000 truck?? Man, that's out of this world. I've got to say that I agree that you should support your mothers decision to say no.

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Old 10-02-09, 07:20 AM   #14
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Buy your sister 2 books. The first one is The Millionaire Nextdoor. The second one is Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey.
Tell her there will be tests on the material in the books.
The Richest Man in Babylon is an easier read
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Old 10-02-09, 07:25 AM   #15
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The Richest Man in Babylon is an easier read
Thanks....I'll see if the library has a copy.
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Old 10-02-09, 07:46 AM   #16
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What is your sister lugging around that requires a large truck? Tell her to use it to make money like hauling around some hay or other animal feed to justify the purchase. What would she do if there were no parental funds or even a car? She would do without and ride a bike or take the bus like most of us.
I too look after my parent (father) and supported him for many years. Our lifestyle was manageable and within my means having earned not too much. We were able to travel a lot and do whatever we wanted. Heck, I even paid for the second go around of my parents divorce. I have no regrets for giving so much to him because helps me a lot in my life. The best part about living within my means is now owning two houses and a HELOC loan that can be paid off in about 5 years.
My parents never taught me about money because I was sensible at a young age. I have always been a frugal person and because of this, I have been able to travel a great deal, do some amazing things and create a great life for myself. My friends who made a decent amount of money can't relate because they spent their money of crap and have little to show for.
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Old 10-02-09, 07:49 AM   #17
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What Cbad said.

I say no more family loans, especially if the old ones haven't been paid back.

1. Consider paying cash for an older 'beater' so sis can get around.
2. Suggest to sis that perhaps she should try living car free. If she does, you could always get her a gift certificate at your fav LBS.
ha, i like this idea. however, i don't really see that working out for her. she's a county deputy and works crazy hours/long hours, and currently lives ~20 miles from work. Plus, her magna bicycle has been in my mom's garage for 2+ years.

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Buy your sister 2 books. The first one is The Millionaire Nextdoor. The second one is Financial Peace by Dave Ramsey.
Tell her there will be tests on the material in the books.
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The Richest Man in Babylon is an easier read
I don't think she reads... at all. Are there big words? pictures? does it come in video format?
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Old 10-02-09, 07:52 AM   #18
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What is your sister lugging around that requires a large truck? Tell her to use it to make money like hauling around some hay or other animal feed to justify the purchase. What would she do if there were no parental funds or even a car? She would do without and ride a bike or take the bus like most of us.
I too look after my parent (father) and supported him for many years. Our lifestyle was manageable and within my means having earned not too much. We were able to travel a lot and do whatever we wanted. Heck, I even paid for the second go around of my parents divorce. I have no regrets for giving so much to him because helps me a lot in my life. The best part about living within my means is now owning two houses and a HELOC loan that can be paid off in about 5 years.
My parents never taught me about money because I was sensible at a young age. I have always been a frugal person and because of this, I have been able to travel a great deal, do some amazing things and create a great life for myself. My friends who made a decent amount of money can't relate because they spent their money of crap and have little to show for.
My sister and I were instilled very much the same values. Somehow, I ended up responsible (possibly overly, to a fault!) and she got none of that.

And, she's not lugging around anything in a truck. its been handy the times she moved, but the couple hundred she saved in a couple years by having it isn't financing the truck.

If she doesn't get a family loan, she'll have to buy what she can afford.
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Old 10-02-09, 07:52 AM   #19
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Support your mom. Tell your sister to stop acting like a child and support herself, maybe throw in something like "who are you trying to impress with a brand new truck, that you cannot afford?" and if that doesn't work......... wait for it...... punch in the face
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Old 10-02-09, 07:53 AM   #20
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Support your mom. Tell your sister to stop acting like a child and support herself, maybe throw in something like "who are you trying to impress with a brand new truck, that you cannot afford?" and if that doesn't work......... wait for it...... punch in the face
well played sir.
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Old 10-02-09, 07:58 AM   #21
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well played sir.
haha thanks man.

Artifice, am I right in assuming you are the older, and you sister the younger?
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Old 10-02-09, 08:23 AM   #22
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What CBad said. She has to be ready to change, and won't until then. All that can be done is to cut her off and make her live with the consequences of her decisions. Being an adult is hard.
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Old 10-02-09, 08:24 AM   #23
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+1 to Cbad's answer. But I would emphasize the "talking to" part. It will not immediately solve anything, but eventually a person can dig themselves out using the wisdom and advice and help of the people that love them.

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Old 10-02-09, 08:37 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=artifice;9784242]ha, i like this idea. however, i don't really see that working out for her. she's a county deputy and works crazy hours/long hours, and currently lives ~20 miles from work. Plus, her magna bicycle has been in my mom's garage for 2+ years.



I don't think she reads... at all. Are there big words? pictures? does it come in video format?[/QUOTE]

If you and your mom really want to help her, find out where the next Financial Peace University is being held (you can find locations and start dates at Daveramsey.com) and all go together (that way she can't duck out of going.) It is financially life changing. After going through it, I went back to another one and took my (at the time) 11 year old son. Now you've never met a child so passionate AGAINST debt.
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Old 10-02-09, 08:42 AM   #25
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Like a few others mentioned, she'll only change when she feels the need to (either thru neccessity or thru obtaining a conscience).

You should insist that your mom does not give the money and if there's a problem, the money should go into your account and you'll deal with your sister by saying no to her. Your mom has enough stress (I'm sure you do too).

Someone mentioned above that your sister's choices are bad but that doesn't make her all bad. But when your sister finds out that the money will not be given to her, her attitude could change, and considering she's already asking for the money on the week your dad passed away shows me she might just have a few bad tints in her thinking already.

I dont know you, but I'm saddened to hear about your dad.
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